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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tenacious

That should have been my one little word for 2011.

Tenacious isn’t in my nature, but I am determined to hang in there. {Everyone sing it with me: I Will Survive.}

A Big Mess

Tenacious does happen to be in my husband’s nature. He is working like a mad-man! Here is a depressing photo of ‘project in process.’ I was asked not to post before pictures. Yeah. This room is going to win transformation awards. I promise. But we’re not there yet.

So my husband has been working around the clock. Remodeling. Picking blackberries. Scraping adhesive off cement. Taking half-night shifts with a non-sleeping baby. Installing light fixtures. Miscellaneous projects around and about. Prying up vinyl tile. Running the tractor on our over-grown property. Painting. Taking boys to piano and swim practice (and swimming and competing, himself!). Trips to Home Depot. And IKEA. Working for his private consulting clients. Oh, and working at a full-time job with a 45 minute commute each way. He is the man. And he deserves a vacation. But there’s more work to be done.

Tenacious. That would also be a certain little girl who is having a rough time sleeping. For those of you who might suggest co-sleeping: Do you sleep 13+ hours, or does your child only sleep 8, or do you leave her unattended on a flat surface (and does she just lie there peacefully, instead of falling off the bed, when she wakes up? Really?)? Yeah, none of those options work for us. Even if I could sleep well with a baby in bed with me…or on top of me as she thinks she should. For those of you who might suggest letting her cry it out: Well, we tried that, too. Did I mention tenacious? I will laugh (slightly maniacally) if you tell me it might take 30 minutes. Or even an hour. Or even two hours. Or even four. Did I mention tenacious? Y’all have no idea. We’ve come to a slight compromise, she and I, and we’re are working on our routine. I’m PRAYING this sleeping thing improves. (P.S. Yes, I was being rhetorically cranky. No suggestions needed.)

Tenacious. That would also be a certain first-born son who will, when he so chooses, NOT do his math. Will you suggest rewards? Consequences? He can sit in front of a 15 minute math worksheet, which he is more than capable of completing, for six hours. Including while at the beach watching his brothers play. And out to dinner, sitting in front of a glass of water, while the family eats. (P.S. Again, being rhetorically cranky. No suggestions needed.)

Hey, and while I’m being real, you might want to imagine a 10 hour trip to IKEA on a holiday weekend with three little boys and a baby. You can imagine one over-loaded cart (and a baby) being ‘manned’ by the 9 year old. And THREE flat-beds ‘manned’ by Russ, me, and the 7 year old. The five year old was in charge of the empty stroller, but that was just. too. much. so it was folded up and added to one of the flat-beds. You can question my sanity or be extraordinarily impressed. I’ll let you choose.

All this to say—we are still not there, wherever there is. Maybe we’ll start school in October. Yeah, that’s it.

22 comments:

April said...

That sounds like our crazy IKEA trip where we had three pallets stacked tall and I had a newborn strapped to me in a baby carrier where I secretly nursed her as we walked around with our other two kids and picked out a housefull of furniture. I was determined. Nuts, but determined. I *cannot* wait to see what beautifulness awaits at your after unveiling!

Bella Rose said...

Heidi, I too have been there with the overwhelming remodeling projects along side of having babies/toddlers who wouldn't sleep. We tried co-sleeping ( none of us slept). We tried crying it out (for hours and hours until we were all crying & the toddler was vomiting!) I have two tenacious little girls. The only advise I can give; mom to mom is this... Go one day at a time. Do whatever works. This too shall pass! Soon enough the disaster will be a beautiful room, and your little Lola will be sleeping like an angel! Hang in there. Sanity is hard to find when sleep deprived... But with caffiene and God we can do all things! ;)

Heasleye said...

AHHHHHHH!!! Oh. My. YOU are tenacious, lady. You and Russ are doing amazing things. Outstanding, important, amazing things. To God be the glory!

Elaine

Laura at By the Bushel said...

Lol... with that same psycho grin. As dory says... just keep swimming. Tried Iowa myself this weekend. Ha you did better than me. Go girl. Ride that wave. Can't imagine wait to see afters.

Laura at By the Bushel said...

Ikea. I meant ikea.

Beth said...

I've been there with the sleep issues, 4 kids, remodeling, and very small house that doesn't allow for baby screaming all night long- for the sanity of all the other people in the family! Those silly sleep books never say what to do with babies who don't sleep who share rooms with siblings. In fact, I think they're just worthless. I'm sorry for your sleep deprivation. TRULY sorry! It changes your whole perspective! It's frustrating. You love that little one to pieces and then can't stand not sleeping. I think some kids just get it and sleep like angles and then there's always that one (or three! in my case) who take a long time to figure it out! Maybe little Lola just doesn't want to miss out on life at night. Maybe she wants to share a room with the boys too! (ha! sorry for suggesting more insanity!) I echo Bella Rose: "one day at a time". Thanking God for each breath he allows! Praying for you tonight!

Lauren said...

I can't wait to see the unveiling of your new room! How exciting! You're amazing--I can't figure out how you're able to get as much accomplished in 1 day as you do. We have two little ones and are still enjoying the preschool stages of homeschooling, but even the most simple of preparations for the following day can be quite challenging. Please keep sharing your ideas! I've learned so much about the Classical Education method from your site and plan to follow that as we enter into the formal schooling years. And on another note, I must echo your thoughts on the "sleep issue." Our 7-month-old does not care to sleep by herself and is quite persistent about letting us know. What a delight she is, but I'm still not sure how we're going to transition her to the "girls' room!"

Danae said...

I am also dealing with a baby who will only sleep if he is right next to me and it is SO HARD! I am with you! Can't wait to see the room transformation...and props to you and your husband for undertaking this project when you are sleep deprived. I feel lucky that my family is fed and my bathroom is clean, sort of. :)

Windhover Farm said...

I know in 20 years you're going to be telling everyone, "My kids slept through the night from 2 weeks on!". It will soon be a distant memory and in your current foggy state you won't remember any details.

carole said...

Ahahahahhahahahhahaha.
{sympathetic laughter}
Oh, my, I empathize. Truly, I do.
One of my friends said she heard a homeschool speaker (can't remember if it was the writing strands guy or someone like him...) "dare" the audience to take a year and "just read." Perhaps your tenacious year is a good one for that? (Okay - sorry, I just added a suggestion when you said "no suggestions needed.)

Jessie Brown said...

Oh my!! You are busy! I have an almost 9 month old and we are having some sleep issues with her to. I have the same problem with co-sleeping. She sleeps great, I don't. I need to get up, she's still sleeping and if I go do something, she will wake up and crawl off the bed (this hasn't happened yet, but I know that it will). I think every baby just goes on their own schedule and will get it eventually. I'm not a fan of crying it out (our little one just gets more and more worked up). Good luck and I hope she figures it out soon. If you do find any tricks...please share!! :)

Anonymous said...

hi heidi....now THAT is too funny! not that i'm laughing AT you. i'm laughing WITH you. oh, i guess you're not actually laughing, are you? nevertheless, i will put a vote in for "extraordinarily impressed."
hang in there!
connie

Christa said...

I am impressed with your amazing ability to accomplish something because we aren't accomplishing much around here.

But you might like knowing that my eldest spent 8 hours looking at a math page last week. It was a long day.

Renee said...

Heidi,
I wouldn't begin to offer advice on the baby sleeping or the slow math student. I've had many a challenge with parenting my own, but those arent' my challenges. And even if they were, there's no text book solution. But I will pray right now that those precious, tenacious children will ease up and give their sweet Mom some rest!!

Tsh @ Simple Mom said...

Is it wrong that it makes me slightly happy to hear that Levi is stubborn about math? Because I know a certain girl who is, too. And it gives me hope.

Love you! And we should totally meet up at IKEA some time.

Dawnfouts said...

Thanks for keeping it real. I really enjoy reading your blog. It's an encouragement to know that I'm not the only one who's got a couple of "tenacious" children... my mother-in-law calls them "stong-willed". :) --- I did the co-sleeping with my baby for awhile when he was young, then after he fell of the bed three times (because he crawled off while mama was alseep) we had to find a different sleeping situation. It seems like life is just a series of adjustments, and just when you think you've got it all figured out, it changes on you again. - May this coming week be uneventful for you! And may the sleeping issues resolve themselves.

MomStarr said...

And women who do not stay at home with their children all day think we just sit around baking cookies and finger paint.
Hang in there; the Lord is good and He will supply all your needs!!

Anonymous said...

Where is that room in your house? It doesn't look like your school room/library. It's so large!

Heidi said...

Ah! No, it isn't in our house. It's in a super secret location... Heh, heh, heh!! And yes, it is *LARGE*...at least compared to the rooms in our house, which isn't saying much. Which is also why I can't. wait. for it to be done and to have that space!!

Jessye said...

Elie wasn't a sleeper- still isn't. I remember trying EVERYTHING and sitting there at hour 4 sobbing just as hard as Elie.

Anna said...

We eventually just put our mattress straight on the floor. It worked for us and we all got sleep. I'm Krazy without sleep!

dayzee said...

I soooo understand the sleep thing. But you are smart enough to realize that sometimes, there just ISN'T an immediate solution. I searched and read, and searched and read, and asked for advice, always thinking that a) something was wrong with me and I was a horrible parent, or b) the right answer has got to be out there, and I'm going to find it. Of course neither was true, and had I just accepted that this was a temporary thing, I would have been much better off. Good luck....